This article by the renowned Josh Bersin highlights some of the risks emerging from the use of people data. Privacy, employee perceptions of how data are stored and accessed, and algorithmic decision-making raise concerns that need to be balanced. 

“More companies than ever are using workforce data to analyze, predict, and improve performance. But as organizations start to use people analytics in earnest, new risks are also taking shape.

People analytics has been advancing steadily over the past few years, and today it appears to have hit the mainstream. Eighty-four percent of respondents to Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey now view it as important or very important to their organizations, making it the second-highest-ranked trend this year.

Sixty-nine percent of surveyed organizations are building integrated systems to use worker-related data to analyze, predict, and improve organizational performance; 17 percent have real-time dashboards in place to crunch the avalanche of numbers in new and useful ways.  Leading organizations are mining a rich variety of sources to create a comprehensive architecture for listening to employees, thereby providing new insights about the entire employee experience, job progression, career mobility, and performance.

But while such tools offer tremendous opportunities, there are also significant potential risks. The European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), for one, can make the mere existence of people data in a company’s systems a risk. Organizations are approaching a tipping point in their use of this data; those that tilt too far could suffer severe employee, customer, and public backlash, with the potential for lasting brand damage.”

Continue reading Josh Bersin, Erica Volini, and Jeff Schwartz’s article.